Can You Get Disability Benefits For Depression?
Depression is a serious medical condition that affects millions of people. Feelings of sadness, fatigue, anxiety and despair are only some of the physical and emotional symptoms that may affect your ability to work and earn a living.
If you have been diagnosed as suffering from depression that is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months, you may qualify for disability benefits for depression through the Social Security Administration. A free consultation with a Social Security disability lawyer or disability advocate at London Eligibility will determine if you qualify for SSD with depression and file an application for benefits on your behalf.
What is depression?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, a serious medical condition causing a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- 1). Feeling sad
- 2). Lack of interest in activities that you previously enjoyed
- 3). Weight loss or gain caused by changes in appetite
- 4). Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- 5). Fatigue and loss of energy
- 6). Suicidal thoughts
- 7). Impaired ability to think, concentrate and make decisions
- 8). Feelings of worthlessness
- 9). Feeling guilty
Depression affects each person differently as far as the types and severity of symptoms. It should not be confused with feeling sad or upset in response to a specific situation, such as the death of a loved one.
An evaluation and diagnosis by a medical professional should be your first step when you suspect that you may be suffering with depression. Your doctor can determine the type of treatment for your condition. Treatment options include mental health therapy and counseling and prescription medications that treat the symptoms of the disorder.
Qualifying for SSD for depression
Disability benefits for depression are available through both the Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance programs provided you meet the non-medical requirements established for each program. SSI benefits are generally reserved for those individuals with low incomes and limited financial resources while SSDI benefits require that you have a work history at jobs or through self-employment with Social Security taxes paid on the income that you earned.
Assuming that you meet the non-medical requirements for SSI or SSDI, you must satisfy the Listing of Impairments or Blue Book criteria for depression. The Listing of Impairments is a compilation of medical conditions that the Social Security Administration considers as being serious enough to qualify as disabling provided the person applying for benefits meets the requirements of the listing.
Depression is a listed condition. To be considered as disabled because of depression, you must exhibit at least five of the following symptoms:
- A). Depressed mood
- B). Lack of interest in most activities
- C). Weight changes caused by appetite disturbance
- D). Sleep disturbance
- E). Agitation or slowing of speech and movements
- F). Decreased energy
- G). Lack of concentration and finding it difficult to think
- H). Thoughts of suicide or death
You also must prove a marked limitation in two of the following areas or an extreme limitation in one of them:
- I). Practical personal skills, such as getting dressed, preparing meals, shopping, and personal hygiene.
- II). Ability to interact and socialize with others.
- III). Ability to complete assigned tasks on time.
- IV). Ability to comprehend and carry out instructions and use good judgment in making decisions.
An SSD lawyer or disability advocate at London Eligibility knows the importance of evidence to prove that you meet the listing criteria. Evidence may include medical records, statements from psychologists and psychiatrists, and statements from co-workers and others who can attest to how depression has affected your ability to perform in the workplace.
What happens if you cannot meet the Listing criteria?
Meeting the Listing of Impairments criteria for depression makes it easier to establish that you have a disability that qualifies for SSI or SSDI, but it is not the only method to qualify for SSD for depression. You may qualify for benefits by proving that you are disabled through a residual functional capacity assessment.
A residual functional capacity assessment evaluates your ability to perform the activities required for the type of work that you did in the past or to engage in any other type of work. Among the mental and cognitive functions that will be evaluated to determine your residual functional capacity include your ability to remember and understand directions, ability to interact and work with other people, concentration and focus, and ability to handle normal pressures and stress associated with the work environment.
An SSDI and SSI lawyer can help
Living with depression is difficult enough without the added stress of financial hardship caused by being unable to work and earn a living. London Eligibility can help you obtain disability benefits for depression to relieve the financial pressures.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an SSD lawyer or disability advocate to learn more about SSD for depression and how we can help by filing an application for benefits or appealing a denial of a claim. We are there to help you to get the disability benefits for depression that you deserve.